Friends of the Marshall Center Hosts Annual Meeting
By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (March 14, 2018) – The Friends of the Marshall Center held its annual meeting at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies March 14.
The Friends of the Marshall Center were formed in 1996 and is an organization comprised of citizens from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, who sponsor activities for participants attending Marshall Center resident courses. These activities help participants, who are from around the world, experience the Bavarian culture while they are here.
The Friends of the Marshall Center hold its annual meeting every March at the Marshall Center.
The elected members led by the President of the Friends of the Marshall Center, Professor Dr. h.c. Rudolf Faltermeier, gave an annual report of the club’s sponsored activities and discussed plans for the upcoming year. They also discussed the club’s sponsorship program where local people, even those who are not members, escort one or two participants while they are here.
The Marshall Center Director retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton and the Marshall Center German Deputy Director retired German Heer (Army) Brig. Gen. Johann Berger were guests at the meeting.
Dayton gave an update on what has happened in the past year at the Marshall Center and the schedule for the rest of 2018. Dayton said that he considers this a stock-holder report as that’s how he sees the Friends of the Marshall Center.
“I can’t begin, however, without thanking this extraordinary group of supporters of our joint German-American enterprise we call the Marshall Center,” said Dayton, who marked his sixth meeting with the Friends of the Marshall Center. “We are truly grateful for your generosity to our students that you continue to show,” Dayton said.
“We have had an excellent year and the future of the Marshall Center has never been more secure,” said Dayton, before he explained the Marshall Center achievements in 2017 and early 2018.
o “Our alumni now number more than 12,500 members, most of whom are active in local alumni associations or on line.”
o “Our resident programs hosted more than 1,000 participants and speakers from more than 90 countries. Our "transnational security studies" resident courses of the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS), Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) and Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS) continue to attract large numbers of students from Asia, Africa and South America. In fact, I just officiated over the graduation of our most recent PTSS course - 67 participants from 46 countries, including Iraq. Our priorities are lined up well with those of Berlin in these courses.”
o “In non-resident affairs, we had activities with more than 30 countries. A total of 59 non-resident events were conducted in Europe and Central Asia, while 34 additional alumni events occurred in national capitals in our region.”
There were many other events of great importance:
o “At the end of June we hosted U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen at the Marshall Center as they commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the Marshall Plan and initiated a "strategic dialogue" between our two defense ministries. Importantly, Minister von der Leyen stated that the Marshall Center for Germany will be a strategic instrument for security policy development and implementation. This is a very big deal.”
o “The Marshall Center emerged as the vital location for activities related to the reform of the Ukrainian defense sector, sponsored by both the United States and Germany. At the end of January we hosted a meeting among Ukrainian parliamentarians, Ukraine's Defense Ministry and General Staff. The Ukrainian Defense Minister attended. The result was a significant progress in Ministry-Parliament relations and two weeks after our event the Defense Minister made his first ever visit to the Parliament in person.”
o “In September we signed a memorandum of Agreement with the Munich Security Conference and have inaugurated something we call the Loisach Group - a German-American group of scholars and policy makers looking at strengthening the transatlantic link and searching for ways to deal jointly with Russia. At the just-concluded Munich Security Conference, we hosted a very well-attended side event at the Bayerischer Hof on this topic, which was attended by many senior American and German officials, to include the Chief of the German Army. The next meeting is scheduled for June. We are off to a great start.”
o “The U.S. European Command and the U.S. Africa Command have asked the Marshall Center to begin a program on Euro-African Security challenges. Berlin has concurred with the idea, and we will start this in 2019.”
Dayton concluded with: “On June 4, we will acknowledge our 25th anniversary here in Garmisch, and we will be inviting you. We have asked Dr. Géza Andreas von Geyr of the Defense Ministry and U.S. Army Europe Commanding General Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli as keynote speakers. It is on the first day of our Senior Executive Seminar.